Not every one has access to their own super yacht so for the opportunities for a quick getaway break by sea are at times limited.
Here are just a few ideas of the top selling short break destinations s hort ferry hop away. Some of these places may not seem on the surface to be a destination in themselves, more of a gateway – but many sea lovers are choosing the ports as great places for an easy trip abroad. So in no particular order here is the top ten:
St.Malo – access with Brittany Ferries
A lovely spot on the Brittany coast, St.Malo has a walled old town and leisure harbour and is packed with some of the best eateries in the area, particularly if you like oysters. Once an island, the town was once home to the corsairs that ran the coastline in these parts. Places to visit include the castle, the cathedral and the tomb of Chateaubriand, the man who invented steak frites!
A capital city that never disappoints, Dublin is fun, full of surprises, delightful and decadent. It always packs a punch and there is always something new to do and see. Whether it is Molly Malone or Oscar Wilde, you’ll find them in Dublin. The place has been transformed in recent years with new buildings and reconstructions. One thing that never changes is the Irish hospitality (and the Guinness!)
Often described as the prettiest of the Channel Islands, Guernsey is great as it can be a fabulous choice for a short break or even a day trip. St.Peter’s Port, the capital, is beautiful and the harbour very picturesque. If you love seafood this is the place to go as the restaurants are second to none. Victor Hugo is said to have written some of his finest work whilst in exile on Guernsey. Did you know their telephone boxes and pillar boxes are blue?
In the heart of the Basque country, Bilbao makes a great short break destination whether for a cultural extravaganza taking in the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, the Fine Arts Museum and a symphony at the Concert Hall or perhaps for the ‘Semana Grande’ – the amazing festival that takes place the first week of August. Did you know that Sir Norman Foster designed the metro network in Bilbao?
Dieppe – access with Transmanche Ferries/LD Lines
Dieppe is popular for its pebbly beach and traditional port as well as its quaint old town, despite having suffered greatly in the war. The fifteenth century castle is definitely worth a visit as are the colourful markets. Did you know that a specialty of Dieppe is scallops?
Lying just 10 kilometres from the Belgian border, head north from Flemish Dunkirk for a short holiday in Belgium, or go south to visit the famous D-Day Landing beaches. Otherwise Dunkirk itself makes for an interesting stay. A must is the Port Museum and the Fine arts Museum too. Did you know that Dunkirk has the third largest harbour in France?
Renowned for its diversity and tolerant attitude, Amsterdam is more of a classic short break destination. As capital and the largest city in Holland it has much to offer from cultural icons such as the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum to wonderful shopping experiences. Amsterdam is famous for such diverse items as sneakers and lingerie, bridal wear to skate-wear. Cycle or cruise the canals, visit the nearby bulb-fields or one of the famous cafes. Did you know that Amsterdam has the oldest stock exchange in the world?
Since the end of The Troubles, Belfast has been totally transformed into a vibrant modern city popular for short break holidays. Belfast means ‘Mouth of the sandbanks’ and her history is linked to the sea – particularly to the shipping industry. The great Harland and Wolf shipyards were famous for building the Titanic and the city’s most recent acquisition has been the opening of the Titanic Museum. Famous sons include George Best, Frank Carson, Alex Higgins, Van Morrison but did you know that Belfast was where Swift found inspiration to write ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ when he lived there in Lilliput Cottage on Limestone Road?
A relatively ‘new’ city, Esbjerg was only created in 1868. It was once Denmark’s principal fishing port and was twice voted Danish city of the year, the last time for supporting so much local young talent. Did you know that the city’s speedway team were Danish National Champions in 2012?
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